Saint Lucia’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sharon Belmar- George, Monday disclosed during an update on the COVID-19 situation locally, that this country has noted a reduction in the total number of diagnosed cases over the last few weeks, but has recorded 19 more cases of the British Variant (B.1.1.7).
Belmar-George made the disclosure while explaining that the Ministry of Health and Wellness recently received new results from the Caribbean Public health Agency (CARPHA) in relation to gene sequencing for Variants of Concern.
According to the CMO, the 19 more cases bring the total number of British Variants diagnosed in country to 41 – all of them being Saint Lucian nationals.
“The majority of the variants are from Babonneau, Gros-Islet and Castries. The samples sent to CARPHA are sequenced to detect all possible variants, but the British Variant is the only one which has been detected in Saint Lucia thus far,” Belmar-George explained.
The CMO alerted members of the public that Saint Lucia is still in a vulnerable position based on the high risk of introduction of COVID-19 and the other Variants of Concern from
the developed countries and neighboring Martinique and transmission in country
due to poor compliance to protocols.
“We note the increase in social activities across the island especially on weekends and the general relaxation of the public health measures,” she observed.
“We continue to advise the public to remain vigilant, adhere to the protocols that
are put in place to keep us safe,” Belmar-George stated.
And she asserted that Vaccination remains the most effective public health measure in managing infectious diseases.
Overall, Belmar-George revealed that a total of 5, 180 cases have been diagnosed in country from March 2020 to present with 79 deaths being recorded.
In addition, over the last 14 days 91 new cases were noted and there are 97 active cases in country.
The COM said the daily infection rate for the past week was 3.2 per 100,000 per day and an average of 6 cases per day, with the majority the cases being seen in the Southern region of the island and Babonneau and Gros-Islet in the north.
“We continue to manage outbreaks emanating from social activities,” she stated, adding that the Ministry of Health and Wellness notes a reduction in the total number of
diagnosed cases over the last few weeks.
“We also note the reduced number of persons with respiratory illness, reduced admissions at the Respiratory Hospital and reduced numbers accessing care at the clinics,” Belmar-George stated.